(Square Enix, 2015)
Writer: Hiroki Chiba
Illustrator: Takatoshi Shiozawa
Character Designer: Tetsuya Nomura
Summary: In the world of Orience, there exist four nations. One day, the Militesi Empire broke the treaty these nations shared, and with their army of machines took the nations Lorica and Concordia. Now, with only Rubrum to go until complete world domination… it is up to Class Zero at Magic Academy Peristylium Suzaku to bring an end to this invasion, and bring peace to back to the lands.
Review: I’m currently reviewing only chapter 1 because that’s what came with the latest issue of OtakuUSA magazine. The full story will be available in the HD Collector’s Edition of Type-O game release.
Outside of their video games, and the much loved Advent Children anime movie, Square Enix hasn’t had much luck when it comes to telling a good story set under the famous Final Fantasy banner name. Is this tie-in manga any different?
The manga, in 3 chapters, tells the story of the video game with added characters and scenarios. Having not played the game, this is all I have to go on, and let me tell you I’ve been pretty excited to play Type-O. That being said, the first chapter doesn’t really lend itself to getting one excited for this world or these characters. For all intents and purposes, it’s pretty generic.
We’re introduced to a bunch of enemies and heroes with little to no origin, expected to immediately care about all of them. With the exception of Ace, where we see to snippets of his past at the beginning and that’s about it; we see him entering Class Zero, and we see one of the cards he carries in the deck of cards that he fights with.
Each member of Class Zero has a unique fighting style centered on magic, we get to see a few of them fight and I’ll admit the action in this is really solid. Fluid, bouncy, and hardcore, much like you would expect from an FF adventure.
Sadly though, all the characters are pretty one dimensional and each service a role that’s seen somewhere, everywhere in all of fiction. They’re all rather cookie cutter is what I’m saying, and that’s the saddest part of all. At most points it’s hard to distinguish the difference between certain characters, such as most of the blonde haired characters, and there are plenty of those.
I do really like the characters designs though. I absolutely adore the school outfits/battle outfits they wear, and I like their fighting styles as well. Each and every one of them breathes ‘cool’ and I think that’s important in a story such as this.
The art is simple, nothing to write home about (and yet here I am). It’s fairly generic as well when it comes to manga style. There’s one central style the art and characters, and because of this lack of diversity a lot of the characters bleed together and start looking the same; another notch in the belt of it being hard to tell certain characters a part.
This story doesn’t make me want to go play Final Fantasy Type-O, that’s something I already want to play. But if I weren’t already excited, I’d be looking to this to get me pumped and sadly it just doesn’t deliver. It is fun, but it’s not interesting.
Final Score: 2 Magic Spells out of 5
You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net